ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Kingsbury Plaza apartments, 520 N Kingsbury St, River North

by Joe Zekas on 10/8/13

Kingsbury Plaza is a 43-story, 420-unit apartment tower at 520 N Kingsbury St in River North. The property, which was completed in 2007, is adjacent to the East Bank Club. It’s one of the first and last buildings to strike commuters’ attention as they enter or exit Chicago via the Kennedy Expressway.

The Habitat Company was the developer, Solomon Cordwell Buenz was the architect, and McHugh Construction was the general contractor.

The units

Kingsbury Plaza offers studio, convertible, 1-bedroom, 1-bedroom + den and 2-bedroom apartments. In early October 2013 rents for available units ranged upward from $1,495 for studios, $1,646 for convertibles, $2,215 for 1-bedrooms, $2,454 for a 1-bedroom plus den, and $2,934 for 2-bedrooms. Floor plans and a near real-time available check are available at the building’s website.

The apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows, engineered hardwood floors in living areas, in-unit washers and dryers, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, large walk-in closets and private balconies.

Short-term furnished rentals in the building are available from Habitat Corporate Suites and VIP Corporate Housing.

A new owner recently acquired a majority interest in the building and reportedly plans to spend $2 million upgrading the apartments.

Views. Kingsbury Plaza’s location in a largely low-rise area at the west edge of River North affords spectacular views of the Loop and Near North Side skylines.

The building’s orientation tilts slightly to the northeast maximizing the views from most of the units, and affording views south along the Chicago River. High-floor units have glimpses of Lake Michigan.

Amenities, services, policies
The most striking feature of Kingsbury Plaza’s amenities is the pool deck, which has a large park-like area adjacent to it.

The green lawn is by far the largest I’ve seen, on site or by helicopter, on any residential Chicago rooftop. It’s a very special amenity in River North, a neighborhood notable for its scarce park space.

Colorful floral plantings, which vary seasonally, add to the space’s attractiveness. There are stainless steel grills and table seating beneath a latticed trellis.

The feeling of openness on the deck is enhanced by views of River North’s varied architecture in the foreground and the skyline in the background.

The amenities deck at Kingsbury Plaza is on the south side of the building. Surrounding buildings are mostly below the deck’s level ensuring sunlight when the sun is shining.

If you’ve visited a number of Chicago high-rises you’ve probably noted that the sun only occasionally bathes the sundecks at some of them.

There’s a fully-equipped fitness center that looks out onto the pool deck and skyline views to the south.

A resident lounge / party room has an adjacent catering kitchen with coffee and tea service.

There’s a tranquil walkway, popular with dog owners, along the river on the west side of the building.

Additional amenities include a business center, dry cleaners, lockers, bicycle storage and a receiving room.

Kingsbury Plaza has on-site leasing, management and maintenance staff, and 24/7 door staff. The building is smoke-free and pet-friendly, subject to limits.

The location
Kingsbury Plaza is in a relatively quiet pocket of River North, directly adjacent to the East Bank Club and a short walk from the Merchandise Mart.

Walk Score gives the location a Walker’s Paradise score of 97 and a Rider’s Paradise transit score of 100.

Shopping. The nearest full-service grocery store is a new Jewel-Osco less than half a mile from Kingsbury Plaza. It may be the city’s best Jewel.

About the same distance away is a Walmart Express. Whole Foods, Dominick’s and Mariano’s have outlets within a mile of Kingsbury Plaza. There’s a CVS Pharmacy nearby on Hubbard St.

Retail development in the immediate area is sparse, but the shops along Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile and The Shops at North Bridge are only a few minutes away.

The River North Gallery District has taken some hits from the economy in recent years but remains a vibrant art scene.

Dining, nightlife. River North dining, bar and nightlife options within a short walk of Kingsbury Plaza are beyond plentiful and draw weekend throngs from throughout Chicagoland. Coffee shops and sidewalk cafés are a short walk away.

The building’s location has quick access to the thriving West Loop restaurant and club scene and to the growing array of options in the adjacent Fulton River District.

Parks, recreation. The popular 3-acre Montgomery Ward Park on the Chicago River is two short blocks to the north. It’s primarily a passive recreation area sloping down to the river but it does have an excellent children’s playground and an adjacent dog park. The park hosts a number of Night out in the Parks events.

There’s an additional dog park nearer the property at Ohio and Orleans.

Kingsbury Plaza has good proximity to Chicago’s expanding Riverwalk.

Transportation. Public transportation is excellent. The CTA Brown and Purple lines stop at the Merchandise Mart. The CTA’s #65 bus route provides frequent (although not always rapid) access to Streeterville and North Michigan Ave, and busses along Wells and LaSalle connect to Loop and Near North destinations. Taxis regularly cruise the area.

A Zipcar outlet is on-site and I-Go cars are available at the Merchandise Mart.

Access to the city’s expressway grid is excellent, via the nearby Ohio / Ontario off / on ramps to I-90/94.

The competition

Kingsbury Plaza’s most direct competitor is another Habitat development a short block south at Hubbard Place, which opened recently. Kingsbury Plaza will also vie for renters with the recently-opened K2 Apartments in the Fulton River District and with the new AMLI River North.

You’ll find additional tips and options at YoChicago’s Guide to renting in Chicago’s River North and our at-a-glance list of Near North apartments.

Kingsbury Plaza in the news

More recent items are listed first.

  • Pension fund buys River North apartment tower
  • Kingsbury Plaza goes smoke-free
  • River view, near it all
  • Share your take on Kingsbury Plaza

    If you’ve lived at or visited Kingsbury Plaza, and are not a real estate agent, add your thoughts in a comment. Comments are moderated, and commercial messages are not allowed.

    Note: Kingsbury Plaza is the sponsor of YoChicago’s Guide to renting in River North.

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